Comparison can be one of the most fearful things in our lives. For example, Imagine you are a track team member in your high school. It is almost your turn to join in the sprinting round. You are about to compete against a sprinting star from the opposite team, and you are fearful of the outcome. The fear is rooted in others watching you fail, against someone much faster than you. When it comes time to sprint, perhaps you don’t outrun the sprinting star. You either have two options from this outcome. Either give up and ruminate on the failure or practice heavily to reach the level as the sprinting star, or at least the best possible level for yourself. Setting a realistic standard or level for yourself in achieving anything is key to success. It is essential in life that we know what level of success we want to obtain. This level of success depends on what you want to accomplish in life, professionally and personally. However, on our journey to success, it’s important to realize there will be people who will have accomplished more than us, and may have higher knowledge than us.
The key is to change the idea of comparison. A little comparison may be good, however, constant comparison is not beneficial for our mental health as it can lower self-esteem. Instead, think of the little comparisons we make as inspiration. For example, during my first year of college, I was surrounded by students who could interpret and solve mathematical problems better than me. I compared myself, and with this comparison, I decided to become inspired and practice math problems until I could ace my exams. I also told myself and knew in my head that I was a straight-A student. The power of “I am” thinking can be so powerful. I set a standard for myself to obtain an A and I did. I changed my perspective of comparison to inspiration.
However, there are times where I may fall into a comparison funk. I have noticed this happens when I’m around individuals who have more knowledge than me and have accomplished more than me. I then concluded after analyzing my comparison, and realized that these individuals have more knowledge than me simply because they have more experience handling certain situations or a subject. They also tended to be older people, so of course, they’re going to know more than me! If it is someone at my age who has accomplished so much, I realize that it took them effort to achieve what they have, and I can achieve greatness by putting in the time and making the connections. Again, it all comes down to inspiration and setting a realistic goal and standard for yourself. We all have the power to achieve greatness in life, as long as we know what we value in life and realize that our long term goals may take a great deal of effort and sacrifices. I would recommend writing all of your goals down and what you value most in life, as it helps whenever I get into a comparison funk. It is essential to be comfortable in life knowing you can’t achieve it all, only achieve what matters to you the most and getting there with the best effort you can allocate with passion. In conclusion, remember these three things, be inspired by others, set realistic standards for yourself, and lastly, say “I am” this person presently and in the future. We are all intelligent and have our purpose.